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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Use the Shortcuts App on Your iPhone in iOS 12 for Custom Siri Actions & More «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

How to Use the Shortcuts App on Your iPhone in iOS 12 for Custom Siri Actions & More «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



One of the most exciting additions to iOS 12 for iPhones is Shortcuts, a tool built into Siri that helps you get things done faster. While there are a few recommended shortcuts available in Siris Settings in iOS 12, the Shortcuts app provides the functionality of Workflow for Siri so you can create your own custom actions or select from the gallery of available shortcuts.

The Shortcuts app is only available to developers running the beta version of iOS 12 that they specifically request. If you're a developer, just go to the download page on the Apple Developer site and click on "Request" next to Shortcuts beta . You will receive an email invitation to test the app using TestFlight.

If You To jump to a specific section, you can do this here:

  1. Starting with the Shortcuts app
  2. Selecting a shortcut from the Gallery
  3. Granting Access (19659007) If Necessary)
  4. Configuring the shortcut
  5. Using the new shortcut
  6. Adding and using the shortcut widget (optional)
  7. Customizing the shortcut (optional)
  8. Changing your shortcut settings (optional)
  9. Adding a shortcut to your home screen (optional) [19659007] Change the name and symbol of your shortcut (optional)
  10. Create a custom Siri phrase for your shortcut (optional)
  11. Add a sharing sheet linkage (optional)

Step 1: Start with the Shortcuts app

If you've ever used workflow to automate tasks, whether you've selected workflows from the galleries or created your own, you'll feel at home in shortcuts Once you open the app and bypass the welcome screen, you'll see that it looks just like the Workflow interface. If you already have workflows on your iPhone, they will appear in your Library in the Shortcuts app.

If If you've never worked with workflows before, the Gallery tab is the best place to go. Here you can see all currently available workflows with more than 300 workflows. After you've installed some workflows and checked how they work, you'll get a better idea of ​​how to create your own workflows and shortcuts

Apple offers collections of similar workflows in categories such as Essentials Morning Routine iPhone X Featured Discover Apple Music Read It Later Photography and the list goes on. These appear to be the same as the collections and workflows available in the workflow app and indicate that the workflow app may disappear when iOS 12 is released in September.

Step 2 : Select a link from the gallery

Once you find a workflow, try it, tap it. On the next screen, you can tap "View Actions" to see what this workflow involves. To add it, just tap on "Get Shortcut". As an example I use the workflow " Play Playlist", but you can choose anything. The "Calculate Tip" and "Open in Chrome" workflows that I've covered for workflow are good to play with.

My chosen goal is to play and mix my "Peter Gabriel" playlist with the custom command "Play Peter Gabriel" with Siri launching the playlist in the music app. It will not really open the music app, which is nice, since that is not really needed. I also want a widget and a shortcut on the home screen to do this.

Step 3: Grant Access (If Required)

After you receive the workflow, you may need to grant "Grant Access" to any applications or services that are needed. In my example, that would be Apple Music activities as well as my media library.

Step 4: Configure the shortcut

Each workflow will work differently, but Apple is trying to make it as easy as possible to work right away, so you probably need to configure the workflow immediately by selecting one or two Answering questions. In my example I have to select a playlist. If you tap on "Select" I will be shown a list of all my playlists. Folders appear first, followed by regular and smart playlists in alphabetical order.

After You If you have selected one of my playlists, all you have to do is press "Done" and the workflow will be added to your "Library" tab.

Step 5: Use your new shortcut

After How do you configure your new workflow? Well, you have not made any profound adjustments, so there are few things you can do now to use the workflow. First, open the App Shortcuts and tap the workflow on the Library tab. This will execute the workflow immediately.

posts Think of this as more of a test to make sure it works the way it should. You probably do not want to open the Shortcuts app every time you want to start one of your shortcuts. This is where the second method comes into play.

On your home screen, you can use 3D Touch in the Shortcuts app icon to display the widget that lists the first four workflows. As you can see below, my "Play Playlist" workflow is not visible, which does not help much. That's because it only displays the first four workflows in your shortcuts library.

Step 6: Add and Use the Shortcuts Widget (Optional)

By default, any new workflow you add to the Shortcuts app appears in the Shortcuts widget. However, as you can see above, the home screen widget is very limited, but the View Today widget is much more helpful.

The Links widget is not added to the Today view by default, so you need to do it yourself. Use the 3D Touch icon on the Home screen to open the Home screen icon, and then tap "Add a widget".

If you do not want to use or do not want to use 3D Touch, you can swipe right from the first home screen, lock screen, or notification window, and then tap Edit at the bottom of the Show Today page. Tap the "+" symbol next to "Shortcuts" and then "Done".

If You Now Swipe right from the first home screen, lock screen, or notification window to display the Today screen, the widget below will be displayed (you can rearrange it) Widgets on the Edit screen. If you do not see your workflow immediately, tap Show More to see the rest. Just tap the workflow to use it.

If you are in the Tapping the Manage Shortcuts widget displays all of your workflows in the Shortcuts application. Here you can enable or disable workflows to include them in the widget and reorganize them by dragging and dropping them from the three-line icon.

Step 7: Customizing Your Shortcut (Optional)

Sometimes Apple's standard options for a workflow are not enough to get the job done right. For example, in my Play Playlist example, I want to mix the playlist or disable shuffle altogether. To see what changes you can make, tap the ellipsis (•••) in the workflow you want to edit in the Shortcuts app.

As you can see below, there is not much to edit or change. Play Playlist "Workflow: I can tap" Playlist "to change the playlist, randomly select" Off "or randomly play songs, or repeat a song, all or none of the songs to test your changes and then "Done" to save them, or you can also go to the search bar to search for more actions.

This is a very simple example of what a workflow can do. To see a little more complicated, the following screenshots show how the workflow looks for my "Calculate Shortcut Tip" connection: Here's a lot to change.

Step 8: Change the settings of your shortcut (op tional)

If you customize your workflow, you will probably notice the Toggles icon under "Done". Tap to go to the workflow settings. Here you can change the name of the workflow, edit its icon, further customize the shortcut, add a Siri shortcut, hide in the widget, show in the sharing sheet, add an icon to the home screen, share the content shortcut, and more.

Step 9: Add a Shortcut to Your Home Screen (Optional)

One of the most exciting settings in this menu is the "Add to Home" option, which adds a shortcut icon to your Home screen. How to use websites in Safari. When you tap this option, the data URL appears in Safari. There, tap the Share Sheet icon and then tap "Add to Home".

Next you can name your shortcut for the home screen. Once you do this, tap "Add" and you'll find the icon of your shortcut on your home screen. Tap to start the workflow.

Step 11: Create a custom Siri set for your shortcut (optional) [19659019] This is the best part and feature that Apple highlighted at WWDC 2018 . While most of the above items can be executed in the workflow app, you can not add any Siri shortcuts except in the Shortcuts app

At some point, you may get a suggestion to add a specific shortcut to Siri To create one yourself, tap on the Settings page of your workflow on "Add to Siri". Next, tap the red record button to say a phrase registered with Siri. If Siri did not hear you correctly, tap "Re-Record Phrase" to try again. When you're done, tap Done.

Back on screen Settings Your workflow displays the Siri phrase that you have added instead of the Add to Siri option. To use your new Siri shortcut, use the phrase with Siri with the shortcut "Side" or "Home", "Hey Siri". or "Type to Siri" to start the workflow. In this case, playback of my selected playlist will start in my music app.

In addition to the widget, the splash screen icon, and Siri, you can also create a link in the sharing sheet for your workflow. This is the most impractical option, but it can be helpful with certain workflows. My Play Playlist workflow is not the best example here, but it will at least show you how it's done.

Make sure that Settings of the "Show in Share Sheet" workflow is turned on. In addition, you can tap Accept to limit the type of content input that can be executed in another app. By default, everything is accepted. For the My Playlist workflow, any app I'm on would not have access to it. Therefore, "Deselect All" would be OK.

Limiting the content that a workflow accepts makes sharing options in an app easier by hiding workflows that are not relevant to the app. For example, a workflow that only accepts contacts will not appear as a sharing extension on the Google Maps app.

– Apple

If you have enabled the sharing option, tap the sharing icon in the shortcuts to enable the action extension in the sharing options. Swipe in the bottom row to the end and tap More. Click on "Shortcuts" in the list and tap on "Done".

To Yours To use a new action extension, tap the sharing sheet in an app and tap Shortcuts on the bottom line. This opens the shortcuts list of the workflows. Tap the song you want to play, and the workflow starts in the shortcuts application. You can then leave the app shortcuts.

While my example was not very good here, it would be much more helpful in other scenarios. For example, if you want to open a page you are currently viewing in Safari directly in Google Chrome. That makes a lot more sense.

More functionality to come!

These are just the basics for using the new Shortcuts app in iOS 12. You really will not be able to grasp the power until you start fiddling things around in the "Gallery" and finally tinkering with them at your own workflows. There are no iCloud, iMessage, or Apple Watch support in the current version of Shortcuts, but expect these things to appear in future releases.

Shortcuts that you make can also be recommended by Siri based on your location, the time of day, and whether you are walking, running, driving or flying. These are determined locally on your iPhone itself, so you do not have to worry about privacy issues. Recommendations for using a shortcut appear as notifications on your lock screen or Spotlight search, and you can just tap them to run them.

Cover image and screenshots of Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

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